NSLHD News - May 17 2024


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Ryde Hospital celebrates 90th birthday

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Read more on Page x Page 7

Administrative Professionals Day celebrations Page 3

celebrating our nurses and midwives Pages 4 and 5


Message from the board chair Trevor Danos AM

There has been much cause for celebration in our district recently with our nurses and midwives deservedly recognised for their invaluable dedication to caring for our patients and families. At the forefront of delivering care in our hospitals and in the community, our nurses and midwives are with patients at some of the most significant times in their lives. It is fitting that on International Nurses’ Day and International Day of the Midwife, that as a district we take the time to show how much we value our nurses and midwives who do such a tremendous job. Equally, our administration professionals play a significant role in supporting our nursing, medical and allied health staff deliver care to our patients. I would like to extend my appreciation to all of our administration staff who were recognised as part of our district’s celebrations recently for Administrative Professionals Day. I would like to welcome Dr Anas Naeem from Ryde Hospital who has been appointed the new chair of the Medical Staff Executive Council. Dr Naeem takes over from Dr John Brereton, who I would like to thank on behalf of the board for his valuable contributions.

examples of domestic and family violence that are sadly occurring far too often in our society and a problem that we all must address. At the forefront of our district’s response to family and domestic violence is our Prevention and Response to Violence and Neglect (PARVAN) team. I want to thank our staff who provide counselling, advocacy, medical and forensic support for victims in very distressing circumstances. Working in such a large organisation means that sadly some of us will work alongside victims and/or perpetrators. If you, or someone you know (https:// bit.ly/4bmdcb1), needs help, support is available. Domestic, family and sexual support contacts and resources are listed here (https://bit.ly/3yz4zLy) and include 24/7 support. You can also call the Employee Assistance Program (https://bit. ly/4bmdfDJ).

Warm regards,

Trevor Danos AM, Chair Northern Sydney Local Health District

Recently we have all seen the tragic



NSLHD Executive Unit administrative professionals at the celebration ceremony

Administrative Professionals Day Administrative professionals across the district recently came together to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day. The day is celebrated each year to acknowledge the important role administrative staff play to provide support to patients, various departments and services, as well as the NSLHD executive team. The formal celebrations of the day were hosted at Royal North Shore Hospital with various sites and services dialling in remotely to listen in on a panel discussion, play trivia and take part in the award ceremony. NSLHD Chief Executive Anthony Schembri thanked all administrative staff across the district for their hard work. “Our admin professionals are masters of communication and possess excellent written and verbal skills and convey information clearly and concisely,” he said. “The work you do undoubtedly plays a large role in helping NSLHD deliver high quality patient care and I hope you know that your hard work never goes unnoticed.”

2024 ADmin Professionals Awards winners

- Administrative Professional of the Year Award – Hayden Ellem

- Chief Executive Award – Tommy Linkous

- Patient Focused Award - Rita Casas Villmonte

- CORE Values Award – Millie Harris

- Rising Star Award – Ruby Main

- Leadership Award – Michelle Neilsen

Site awards: - Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital – Jennifer Loftus

- Ryde Hospital – Belinda Ahmed

- Mental Health Drug and Alcohol – Susan Snowdon

- Primary and Community Health – Maria Marquez

- Mona Vale Hospital – Kim Sullivan

- Royal North Shore Hospital – Alyssa Lynch

- Northern Sydney Local Health District – Natalie Funnell



Nursing celebrations at RNSH

Nursing celebrations at Ryde Hospital

Celebrating our nurses Team lunches, staff awards, scavenger hunts, late-night pizza nights, and more were among this year’s celebrations for International Nurses’ Day throughout the district. The day is marked every year on 12 May with these years theme being “Our Nurses, Our Future: The economic power of care”. Celebrations were held across Mona Vale, Macquarie, Royal North Shore, and Ryde hospitals, Primary and Community Health and the Adolescent and Young Adult Youth Hospice. NSLHD Director, Nursing and Midwifery Services Claire Harris thanked all of the district’s nurses for their hard work. “Nurses are not just caregivers; they’re advocates. They’re leaders, they’re researchers and innovators. Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system with high levels of knowledge and skill to deliver complex clinical care,” she said. “I’d like to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to all of the nurses within the Northern Sydney Local Health District family. Your dedication, compassion, and resilience inspire us all, and we are incredibly fortunate to have you as essential members of our team. Thank you for your dedication, compassion, and tireless efforts, not just today but every single day,” said Anthony Schembri, Chief Executive, NSLHD.

Primary and Community Health Care nursing awards ceremony

Mona Vale Hospital celebrations

Celebrations at AYAH

Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Service celebrations



Nurse and Midwife celebrations at Hornsby at RNSH

Recognising our midwives International Day of the Midwife on 5 May was celebrated across the Northern Sydney Local Health District. Staff at Hornsby, Royal North Shore, Ryde and Mona Vale hospitals celebrated with morning and afternoon teas, lunches, and awards. This year’s theme was Midwives: A Vital Climate Solution. “As we commemorate the International Day of the Midwife, we gather to honour the remarkable contributions of our dedicated midwives. I would like to express my gratitude to our remarkable team of midwives across the Northern Sydney Local Health District,” said Claire Harris, Executive Director, Nursing and Midwifery. “Our midwives’ efforts extend far beyond the delivery room, encompassing prenatal education, postnatal support, and advocacy for maternal and child health rights. “Midwives are not only caregivers but also guardians of the future. By providing compassionate and comprehensive care to expectant mothers and newborns, they lay the foundation for a healthier and more sustainable world.” Last year, staff cared for more than 4,295 babies born at Royal North Shore and Hornsby hospitals.

Celebrations at RNSH

Midwives at RNSH celebrated with a cake baked by RNSH Divisional Nurse Manager Laura Dangerfield detailing the names of all the hospital’s midwives



The RNSH orthopaedic team

NSLHD fostering high quality hip care NSLHD has been recognised in the Australian

for the district. RNSH also had the shortest average time to surgery in Australia at just 23 hours. Clinical Network Manager Stephanie Laurent said the results indicate a fantastic culture around hip care across NSLHD. “Compassion is at the core of what we do with hip surgery across NSLHD, so these results are extremely pleasing” she said. “Leaving an older person immobilised, bed bound, fasting and often in pain is not at all desirable and there are potential broader consequences of delayed surgery like increased length of stay and the potential of postoperative complications.”

and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry’s (ANZHFR) 2023 annual report for hip care treatment. The report ranks and benchmarks 117 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand against the current Australian and New Zealand standards. RNSH impressively stood out as the highest performer in the ‘time to surgery’ indicator in the report, with an impressive 97 per cent of patients receiving surgery within the recommended timeframe of 36 hours, which is considerably higher than the Australian hospital average of 76 per cent. In the same indicator, Ryde Hospital ranked third, whilst Hornsby Hospital ranked 10th, marking a very successful year in hip surgery

RNSH diverting food waste from landfill Royal North Shore Hospital has commenced efforts to divert food waste from landfill. The hospital is working with HealthShare and Veolia as part of its efforts and has seen substantial progress so far. At the beginning of 2024, the hospital

introduced an organic waste stream to collect food waste from kitchens and on-site food providers. The hospital has embedded practice change within its kitchens. Food handlers are now placing food waste from the patient and retail kitchens into separate bins. Currently, the organic waste is taken by Veolia to Soilco - a company that transforms organic waste into quality assured compost and mulch products. Since the beginning of the project, the hospital has seen a five per cent increase in diversion when compared to the average diversion for RNSH in financial year 2022-23.

Food waste being diverted at RNSH



RNSH Sees Drop in Admissions with New Epilepsy Service Royal North Shore Hospital has witnessed a 15 per cent reduction in admissions this year since implementing a non-admitted complex epilepsy service. Spearheaded by Dr. Tania Farrar, this service extension builds upon the foundation laid by the epilepsy clinic

an outpatient safely from the comfort of their home with the reassurance they will be seen rapidly for follow-up and treatment if required. This is particularly helpful for patients who do not manage strange environments well - such as those with autism,” she said. “We are extremely pleased with these results. The best indication of the success of a service such as this (apart from reduced admissions) is a reduction in the number of seizures a patient is having and the impact their seizures are having on their quality of life, social interactions and ability to participate in the community.” Many patients with complex epilepsy have ongoing seizures despite multiple medications. They often require ongoing trials of rarely used medications and other advanced therapies to optimise their seizure control while limiting the side effects they experience.

established by Dr Mark Thieben and Dr James Lee in 2022. Aimed at catering to individuals grappling with challenging epilepsy cases or comorbidities (the occurrence of two or more diseases in a person at one time), such as autism or brain injury. This initiative offers accessible advanced epilepsy therapies. “The ability of the clinic to see patients presenting to the emergency department with seizures within one to two weeks of presentation for follow-up means many of these patients do not require a prolonged hospital admission,” said Dr. Tania Farrar, RNSH neurologist/epileptologist. “They can undertake their investigations as

RNSH’s new epilepsy service



From Healthy Kids Clinic to Pacific Games When a young Salani first attended the Healthy Kids Clinic 10 years ago, her family could not envisage their daughter would one day come home with a bronze swimming medal from the Pacific Games.

approach to supporting healthy lifestyle choices. Last year, Salani represented Samoa in the Pacific Games - a continental multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from Oceania - where she won the 2023 bronze swimming medal. Another parent sent a written message to the team: “Congratulations to you and your team on the remarkable milestone of 10 years of the Hornsby Healthy Kids program that you have offered to my family and our community. “Your dedication, expertise, and unwavering commitment to improving the health and well-being of those around you have not gone unnoticed. Through your efforts, many lives have been positively impacted.”

When their daughter was not in the healthy weight range for her age, the family was one of the first to attend the clinic at Hornsby Ku- ring-gai Hospital where they worked together to support a healthy lifestyle. Original staff and families, like Salani, returned to Healthy Kids Clinic recently to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The clinic is held monthly and involves a multidisciplinary team working with children aged between two and 12 who have a body mass index above the healthy weight range. Paediatrician Dr Anna Gill said the clinic has played an important role in many local families’ lives by encouraging a family-based

Akshita, Evie and Salani who all attended the inaugural clinic in April 2014



Ryde Hospital General Manager Jennifer McConnell, NSLHD Board Chair Trevor Danos, Ryde acting Head of Social Work JoAnne Wigan, Emergency Department Director Peter Roberts and NSLHD Chief Executive Anthony Schembri cut the cake for Ryde Hospital’s 90th birthday

Ryde Hospital celebrates 90th birthday Ryde Hospital has celebrated its profound

staff for their continued flexibility in helping to bring the project to life and also thanked consumer groups for their considerable consultation so far. “It is very exciting that we can look towards the exciting future of the hospital and its $479 million redevelopment, and I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in the process so far,” he said. “Staging is underway for the new state- of-the-art hospital, and I can’t wait to go on the journey with our staff and the Ryde community.”

history with the hospital turning 90. The special occasion was marked with a ceremony and cake cutting that was attended by current and former staff members, volunteers, and patients. Attendees were treated to a digeridoo and Acknowledgment of Country by Tu Wa Macdonald, and short presentations by Ryde Hospital Emergency Department Director Peter Roberts AM, acting Head of Social Work JoAnne Wigan and General Manager Jennifer McConnell. As part of the celebrations, attendees were also invited to attend an art workshop by artist Kubi Vasak. The workshop was open to all attendees, with the aim being for Kubi to develop a collage that will be displayed in the new redeveloped hospital. NSLHD Chief Executive Anthony Schembri thanked all current and former staff members, volunteers and community members for their work in making Ryde Hospital the special place it is today. “The hospital is an integral piece of the Ryde community and the western Sydney regions that surround it, and provides healthcare for around 130,000 people,” he said. “I’d like to acknowledge and thank all of our current and former staff members, our volunteers and our community members who have all played a part in making this hospital an integral piece of the Ryde community.” Anthony also acknowledged the $479 million redevelopment that is underway and thanked

Artist Kubi Vasek facilitating the collage workshop



RNSH launches NICU grandparent initiative Royal North Shore Hospital’s neonatal

child and the family as a whole,” she said. “Ward grandparents play a crucial role in offering companionship and assistance to children and their families. Their activities include feeding, playing, reading, and providing emotional support, contributing significantly to the overall well-being of young patients.” RNSH is working closely with AWCH to ensure the success of the program and emphasise inclusivity in volunteer recruitment. The initiative underscores RNSH’s commitment to holistic patient care and community support. So far, the program has welcomed nine volunteers at Royal North Shore Hospital, with more encouraged. Interested individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply via the AWCH website’s Grandparent program section: https://awch. org.au/become-a-ward-grandparent/

intensive care unit (NICU) in collaboration with RNSH volunteer departments and AWCH (Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare) have been working together to set up a grandparent program. The innovative program aims to enhance the hospital experience for children and families. The AWCH Ward Grandparent Program was established in 1987. It has become a highly regarded service in all major NSW children’s hospitals, and a number of metropolitan and rural hospitals across NSW. “Being in hospital can be stressful for children and their families. Families are often under significant pressure and can find it difficult to be with their child as much as they would like for a huge variety of reasons,” said Claire Blackburn, Nurse Manager, NICU. “Hospital ward grandparents are highly valued by children, their parents and hospital staff. They make a real difference to the emotional side of healing by just ‘being there’ for the

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NSLHD participates in the first ever Colour Flix Youth Festival The Colour Flix Youth Festival was a first of a kind within the Northern Sydney region where more than 900 people attended. This year, the Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) on behalf of the Hornsby

Ku-ring-gai Community Drug Action Team (CDAT) coordinated the inaugural Colour Flix Youth Festival together with participating Northern Sydney Councils and local services. The event involved live youth bands, a youth DJ, a colour run, food trucks, information stands and an and open air cinema. The Colour Flix Youth Festival was held recently at St Leonards Park, North Sydney. National Youth Week is an annual week-long celebration held in April to celebrate young people and gives them an opportunity to showcase their talents and getting involved in the community. Held during Youth Week and the April school holidays, the event aimed to engage individuals of all ages, with a focus on youth aged 12-24. “The day was about celebrating young people and showcasing their talents… and the event was buzzing with excitement and energy with participants visiting information stalls from local services and having fun.” Fiona Lo, School-Link Coordinator, Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS). The Community Drug Action Teams (CDAT) aim to make their local communities safer, healthier and stronger by reducing the harms associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs through evidence-based, primary prevention activities. If you are interested in joining the local CDAT, please contact Fiona Lo (Chair of Hornsby Ku-ring CDAT) for more information at Fiona.Lo@ health.nsw.gov.au



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